27 September 2010

Photo of the Week

San Clemente, CA. While standing at the train station Friday evening, I thought I'd give my new Hipstamatic app a try. And guess what? It's ridiculously fun and creates some of the best looking photos! (and as a SLR lover, that's saying a lot!)

With the many available add-ons, you can even change your lens, flash and film to create different photo techniques, share your photos through Facebook and Flickr and order prints straight from your iPhone delivered right to your door! View some of the very cool photos from this app on the photo contest site, The Big Hipstamatic Show.

This is the most fun I've had with my iPhone yet! Who ever said Instamatic was dead? Get your Hipstamatic app on iTunes here.

26 September 2010

Mysterious, Sultry and Edgy

I'm really blown away with the gorgeous simplicity and artistic styling of these vector illustrations from graphic designer and digital artist Alexey Malina of Moscow Russia. The first work from his 'Five Girls' series became a cover for the upcoming movie Ruchiki... congrats Alexey! All of them are equally stunning and could easily become a series of movie posters themselves.

via Ruchiki: The poster derives from Alexey’s Five Girls poster series, but what struck Matt about the image we used was the way in which the illustration reminds us of both Ayumi and Rachel. Awesome.

More of Alexey's incredible work can be found on Behance.

Images from Alexey Malina website.

25 September 2010

A Shocking Letter

In my last post, I said that American companies need to make a change for the better, gain inspiration from a time when they strived to do well, be well and make quality products that kept everybody busy making, buying and selling. I truly believe companies can make this happen, however small the steps, they are a formidable start in the right direction. And here's why I believe this.

Recently, I ordered some items from the fabulous new Fall line of Lands' End Canvas. Although I really like the clothing, the particular items I ordered just didn't work for me and I returned them last week. The day after I sent them back I received a note in the mail from Lands' End regarding my initial order. But not just any note... a bonefide, handwritten, thank you note from a customer service representative named Jan. I was stunned to say the least. Of course, I was not going to be fooled into thinking it was a handwritten note when it was not. Careful inspection of the 'font' indicated it was in fact, real hand writing; the E's and an O's are all different, as most of the letters are. Short of testing the ink, I'm sure this is no standard machine printed marketing item. If it was, I would be even more shocked with the idea of trying to fool a customer with a lame impostor.

So here's to Lands' End and the power of the handwritten note (and you know I just love handwritten notes!) Because of this little personalized thank you, they will surely be at the very top of my list the next time I need a few new items in my closet! And if it's part of their new 'fresh approach,' it's working, very well! Thank YOU Lands' End!

23 September 2010

I'll Take The All American

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere down the road I realized old advertisements were cool as shit. They were so simple; no gimmicks, a clear message and typefaces... pretty much so straight forward it was hard to screw them up. Yes, perhaps a little boring comparative to the ads these days, but they didn't have much to work with back in the day. I think that's what makes them so great. Companies had to rely on the reputation of their product in order to survive, plain and simple. Was it well built? Did it have longevity? Was it a good value? Gosh, this could turn into a great major long post comparing products and companies through the years. Anyway, so what starting me thinking about this... the above Chevy ads I found on A Continuous Lean blog. Let's hope America can look back and gain inspiration from a time when we strived to do well, be well and make quality products that kept everybody busy making, buying and selling.

Images from A Continuous Lean blog.

22 September 2010

Not So Elemental

Recently, I had a very good friend turn 40. I also learned, as a chemistry major, she fell in love with the Periodic Table of Elements in college (not quite the same affection I had in college, but then again I'm right brained and therefore typography became my love). After learning about this affinity of hers, I began to think how cool it would be to take all her personality traits and characteristics and put them into her own elements chart as a gift. And let me tell you, she's fabulously multi-faceted, so there were lots of traits to incorporate and I truly laughed all the way through. She's one of the most witty, smart, giving, and beautiful persons I know. And with Opinioneum as a trait, I have a feeling she would agree. Happy Birthday Tracey!

21 September 2010

The Great New Collection

My last post briefly mentioned a little new magazine called Anthology. I'm thrilled to see this very unique new magazine on the market and want to tell you all about it. Anthology is "a new quarterly shelter and lifestyle print magazine that takes a narrative approach to its coverage of home d├ęcor, travel, design, entertaining, and culture." I already perused the online version here, (well, just the first 16 pages), but it's wonderful and I want to see and read more!

It's no surprise Anthology is creative, colorful, artful in its layout and puts forth journalistic excellence. The founders, Anh-Minh Le and Meg Mateo Ilasco, have backgrounds in journalism, writing, psychology, illustration, graphic design and architecture, just to name a few. So it's no surprise this delightful magazine could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. I will surely be ordering a subscription very soon! And you know, I've been wondering who could possibly replace the great Martha Stewart... I just might have found who!

Image from Anthology website.

Window Happy

Today is one of those days where I'd much rather be in the kitchen, cooking a warm hearty stew or baking the most incredible breakfast bread. So I needed to post this wonderful kitchen window photo I found on Anthology. It's the most delightful kitchen sink with a big airy sunlit window from the home of Kelly Ishikawa's humble early 1900's San Francisco home. Read more about Kelly's home and her latest venture, Perish Trust, in the first issue of Anthology and view her photographic prowess over at SBX Creative. She is one very talented gal!

Image from Anthology website.

20 September 2010

Photo Destination: Venice

Venice, Italy. Instead of the normal single photo of the week today, I'm opting to post a series of photos. This will be the start of a once a month series of photos taken by myself or guest photographers called Photo Destination. We all need to take a mini mind trip once in a while. Today's destination... Venice!

18 September 2010

Surfrider Wipeout

Although I live in one of the surf capitals of the world and I don't surf, I sure know a wipeout when I see one, this time typographically speaking. Surfrider, the non-profit organization dedicated to “the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education" and headquartered in the town I live, took a doozy of a hit recently when they unveiled their updated logo after 26 years. The redesign, done by LA-based 72andSunny, is a spectacular example of a logo gone bad. Dare I say the old one (above left) looks far better then the new one. Gone is the interest, energy and uniqueness it originally encompassed (although not a great logo to begin with) and replaced with a boring, generic, and badly done kindergarten like wave that looks like it was simply stretched in the wrong direction. Add in the horrific typography that reads Sur Frider rather than Surfrider, and it's just a big, flat, sloppy mess. I'm very disappointed with the new logo, considering the area has a huge talent of design resources they could have tapped into. I hope they don't wait another 26 years to update their logo again. Sorry Sur Frider, not a real swell logo.

Image from Brand New website.

14 September 2010

Let There Be (Efficient) Light

If you're looking for energy efficient lighting and something to make your space look super cool, look no further. Not traditional by any means the Plumen 001 bulb looks stunning from every angle, no shade needed.

via Plumen of London: "The Plumen 001 is the world’s first designer energy saving light bulb. The Plumen bulb uses 80% less energy and lasts 8 times longer than incandescent bulbs, giving you the opportunity to purchase an ecological product with style. It works just like any low energy bulb but it has a lot more presence."

And it's so true what they say about the lightbulb in general... "It's strange that the bulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination."

I think the folks at Plumen have changed that! Their bulb is exquisite.

Images from Plumen website.

13 September 2010

Photo of the week

Athens, Greece. Presidential guard with red pom-pom clog shoes and a short skirt, fashionably interesting indeed.

11 September 2010

Sweet and Savory

'Gleaming fruits and aging filetes, proud moustaches and butcher tools, old streets and new shops, expensive cars and starving cartoneros, locals and tourists, football leagues and weathered gauchos, Astor Piazzolla and electric violins, packaged products and brightly-colored boats wobbling on dirty water... '

These are just some of the things that inspired Buenos Aires-based designer Alejandro Paul for his new Candy script font. And I'm in love! Inspired by Argentina and its culture, Candy captures the country’s spirit and comes from the tradition of window sign painting, perfect for packaging and posters.

Paul is also one of the founders of the Sudtipos project, the first Argentinean type foundry collective, which has an amazing array of wonderful typefaces for purchase. Definitely take a look!

Images from MyFonts website.

06 September 2010

Photo of the week

Penang, Malaysia. A sunny sky, an empty beach, and your toes in the sand. Nothing better than that.

04 September 2010

World Cup Radial

If you're still in a World Cup frenzy, then you definitely need this poster from the uber talented Hyperakt design studio of NYC. The sleek radial bracket poster design documents the results of the 2010 World Cup. The 18" x 24" or 24" x 36" posters are printed in CMYK, plus a spot silver ink on an 80lb cover uncoated, 100% recycled Astrolite stock. The project was backed/printed with pledges and supporters of Kickstarter and received a 244% funding from 230 backers! Congrats to all those who made this fantastic poster come to life. They are still available, so get yours here!

And aside from their impressive portfolio of work and great World Cup poster, I just love the mission of the studio itself; Meaningful Design for the Common Good.

Images from Hyperakt website.

The Heavy on Miniature Masterpieces

One thing for sure, Mr. Ghetti must have some incredibly powerful magnifying glasses! Dalton Ghetti is a Bridgeport, Connecticut-based artist of miniature lead pencil art. How he creates these amazingly detailed mini pieces are just a wonder. Not only does he make items, but I love his alphabet series. Here's another short read about his work.

Images from Design*Sponge and Kidrobot's websites.
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